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See this new half hull of the Volunteer. America's Cup Defender in 1887.
Designed by Edward Burgess.
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Volunteer, a centerboard compromise sloop, was designed by Edward Burgess and built by Pusey & JonesShipbuilding Company at Wilmington, Delaware in 1887 for owner General Charles J. Paine of the New York Yacht Club.
Volunteer was the first America's Cup yacht with an all steel frame and hull. Her deck was made of white pine.
Volunteer easily beat the 1886 America's Cup defender Mayflower during the defender trials for the 1887 America's Cup and won both Cup races on September 27 and 30, 1887, against Thistle. Volunteer was skippered by Captain Hank Haff with the assistance of Captains Terry, Berry and L. Jeffreys.
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William Starling Burgess no doubt inherited his love of boats and sailing from his father as well as his sharp analytical mind. He also acquired his precise and sensitive feeling for lines and forms from Nathanael Herreshoff, his “Uncle Nat”. But when the young Starling informed Herreshoff of his intention to become a naval architect, “the Wizard of Bristol” took umbrage.
When Mike Vanderbilt contacted him to build a new defender for the 1934 challenge, time was very short. No matter ! He started on the rough drafts of the plans at end of 1931 and Rainbow very nearly failed in the face of a faster challenger, Endeavour.
Starling Burgess came out of it quite well, Charles Nicholson even offering him the plans of his champion. His gesture was to prove quite unwise.